It is often necessary to enter a regular sequence of numbers or a repeated sequence of text. Gnumeric provides several ways to input series and sequences of this kind.
The simplest way to fill a series with the same element repeated involves entering the element once and dragging the selection box to fill that element repeatedly. For example, the text "employee:" could be input into cell C2. That cell could then be selected. The selection box is a thick white rectangle which surrounds the cell. This selection box has a small white square at the bottom right hand corner. If the mouse cursor is placed above this square box, it changes to a thin cross. If the left hand mouse button is clicked and held, and the mouse dragged to cell C10, Gnumeric will automatically fill all of the cells with the identical string.
An alternative way to enter data into a region involves first selecting the region, then typing the value and finally typing the Ctrl+Enter key combination. This will fill the whole region with the identical value which was originally entered.
A similar method is available to fill sequences of integers. If the example just given was altered so that cell C2 had the number 14 and the Ctrl key was held during the dragging of the selection, Gnumeric will automatically fill the cells C2 to C10 with the series 14,15,16,...,22.
More complex series and sequences of data can be entered with a similar mechanism.
To do an autofill:
Enter a value into the first cell you wish to autofill. For example, the cell C2 could have the number "24" entered.
Enter a second value into the second cell you wish to autofill. This must be adjacent to the first cell. This sets the increment to use when autofilling the rest of your cells. For example, the cell D2 could have the number "28" entered.
Select both the cells just entered. At the bottom-right of the selection should be a small box. Your mouse cursor will change to a cross-hair when placed over the box. Press and hold on the box. Drag in the direction, either vertical or horizontal, you wish to increment and release when all the cells are filled. For example, selecting cells C2 and D2, then dragging the bottom right of the selection to cell I2 will fill the cells with the sequence from 24 to 48 with each increment being 4.
An alternative to the last step involves using the menus. Once the first two values have been input, the whole range to be filled can be selected using the mouse and then the Autofill selection can be made from the Edit and Fill. This will automatically complete the series in the selected region.
Gnumeric is able to increment several types of data beyond simple integers. The procedure is the same as described above but involves different starting values. Gnumeric can increment:
1, 2, 3, etc.
1.03, 2.05, 3.07, etc.
Monday, Tuesday, etc.
Mon, Tues, etc.
January, February, etc.
Jan, Feb, etc.
Item1, Item2, etc
11/14/2001, 11/15/2001, etc.
Gnumeric supports incrementing the date by month, date, or year.
Note that, While Gnumeric will increment days of the month, if you do 11/14/2001 and 12/14/2001, it will recognize it as the same day of the month and increment the month so the next value would be to 1/14/2002 instead of the day difference.
Gnumeric can be explicitly told the cells to autofill as in the examples above, but it can also guess the number of cells to fill based on the length of an adjacent column or row. For example, if the cells B2 to B10 have information and cell C2 has the integer value "1", then selecting cell C2 and double clicking on the bottom rightmost box of the selection rectangle will fill the value "1" from cell C3 to cell C10.